Go Ask Daddy About the Olympiad, Lunch Meat for Dad and an Extra Baseball Pad


photo credit: 713 Avenue via photopin cc
photo credit: 713 Avenue via photopin cc


If blogging was an Olympic sport, I’d be … well, I’d be in a lot of events.

This week, I’ve made my way to Carrots Over Cake, Beth’s awesome blog that focuses on nutrition.

I’m serious!

I left the Nilla wafers in the Pontiac (where they belong) and I wrote a post about what it’s meant to me to coach my three girls in a sport I knew little about when I first took it up.

I also got to take part in an Advent calendar Tamara put together on her blog, Confessions of a Part-Time Working Mom, for a friend to many bloggers – Karen, of Baking in a Tornado. (All this name dropping!)

I told a story about a cold winter night that includes a couple of Star Wars figures and my dad making it in time to join my birthday party.

So now I’m home again, ready to answer the kids’ questions for the week.

1. Where are the next Olympics?

Not in Davos, Switzerland; Karachi, Pakistan; or Statesville, N.C. (Well, Statesville’s never actually bid … )

Sochi, Russia, is host to the next Olympic games. The opening ceremony is just 63 days away. Russian cosmonauts have already taken the Olympic torch into space. I don’t think the Games’ mascots (below) would last more than one chase scene in Ice Age: The Meltdown, two, tops. Way too friendly.

Stamps of Russia 2012 No 1559-61 Mascots 2014 Winter Olympics

2. What’s the Atlanta Falcons mascot’s name?

photo credit: Football Schedule via photopin cc
photo credit: Football Schedule via photopin cc

It’s not Poe (Ravens), Chomps (Browns) or even Sourdough Sam (49ers).

He’s Freddie, and he’s not the only Freddie Falcon in the phone book. Mascots for the ECHL’s Fresno Falcons and Bowling Green State University are also named Freddie. He’s also on Twitter, and makes the rounds at charity events.

His inflatable alter ego lost his religion (and his air) on the court during a timeout of an Atlanta Hawks basketball game.

3. Can you buy the whole chunk of lunch meat?


photo credit: wintersoul1 via photopin cc
photo credit: wintersoul1 via photopin cc

This thought has crossed my mind twice – once, when I was hungry in college, and again, when I realized the portions I once used to feed my girls adequately no longer kept the hungry fiends at bay.

OK, so maybe it was more than once in college.

Membership warehouses and meat shops (they must smell delicious inside) sell 5- and 10-pound chunks of meat. I’d love to make roast beef in the crockpot, let the whole house smell like it, and slice off one delicious slice after another, put them each on a slice of toasted Panini, with melted Havarti cheese, herbed mayo, hot au jus …

Give me a minute before the next question …

4. How do they tag sharks?


photo credit: pterantula via photopin cc
photo credit: pterantula via photopin cc

Back in the day, you could bait a shark with chum, lure him to the tagging vessel, then sling him up and get him tagged.

Massachusetts Fisheries scientist Greg Skomal does things differently in New England. He harpoons the shark with a tagging tool instead. His boat is outfitted with a ‘s 20-foot pulpit for a brave tagger to get close enough to the shark, without spooking him. As if the shark should be the one spooked.

This ought to be an Olympic sport.

You know, these aren’t the first questions you girls have asked me about lunch meat and sharks. Who needs a DNA test? You’re definitely my kids.

5. Why does a batter wear his shin guards on the inside?

Aaron Bates playing for Team Puerto Rico at the 2013 Caribbean Series

They wear them to protect against an angry tagged shark, no doubt.

Unlike you loveys, a baseball batter wears shin guards to protect against foul balls, not foul opponents. Former slugger Barry Bonds used to wear so much armor on his elbow and leg that he looked like a harlequin knight. He’d also lean way in over the plate because of all the protection in place.

That twisted shin guard is hit or miss, though.

As Kung Fu Panda found out in this video, sometimes, the ball finds you where it hurts. And sometimes, there just isn’t enough protection on God’s green earth. I’d almost rather take my chances with the shark.


      1. it’s an acquired taste. It’s a by-product of the beer brewing process and has a tangy, slightly salty, savoury taste. You can use it in soups and stews and spread thinly on buttered toast it’s delicious.

    1. I agree with Nicole – this needs to be cross-stitched on a pillow somewhere.

      That umpire video, though … that just hurts me to watch. Not sure a curveball or changeup would have made much of a difference.

      1. Thanks Eli, believe me I speak from limited experience. I’ve been struck in the ahem, nether regions by a horse’s front foot, kicked there by a 15 year old girl I was about to arrest and have landed ass first on top of a grey nurse shark. All fraught with difficulty and pain. The shark didn’t get a bite in but talk about close.

      2. With the horse I went to the doctor, with the girl a large packet of frozen peas helped.

    1. Snow, here in the Carolinas? Maybe Picaboo Street sent it. I can’t vouch for your meds, but it is indeed snowing on my blog. As I told Tamara the other day, some dudes make it rain in the club – I make it snow on my blog.

  1. I’m totally jonesing for that amazing roast beef sandwich. Mmmm. But what’s this about slicing? If you cook it right, you can just pick off the next chunk. Totally worth a little finger burn.

    And what’s up with the uber friendly Olympic mascots? Trying to soften Russia’s image after the PR snafus of late?

    1. You’re right – roast beef like that should be pulled off piece by scrumptious piece.

      At least these mascots are identifiable, unlike some from Olympics past. Maybe they think cute and snuggly makes up for harsh and intolerant?

      1. They’d probably say “Happy and Gay,” but with the last word struck out.

        Russia’s one of those places that the bad guys in a lot of action movies come from, so I feel like it’s OK to bash them now and then. I’m just being a dude.

  2. I think sharks should be so much more afraid of us, than we are of them. And I have had the same lunch meat thought, many times! I want one of those industrial strength slicers in my house. Then I’d just dole out lunch meat all day! And it would only be to myself because my kids and husband don’t eat cold cuts.

    1. I wonder if we taste as good to sharks as they do to us. I’ve even dreamed about having a chunk of, say, cajun roasted chicken breast, one monstrous slice of provolone, and an adequate loaf of hard roll to fit it in.

      You’re the only one in the house who eats cold cuts? That sounds kind of heavenly to me. The only thing better than a good smoked turkey breast is not having to share a good smoked turkey breast.

  3. One year my husband bought me a meat slicer – I think it was really more for him!!!
    And, I’m so glad someone asked about the sow – I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me!!!

    1. He’s just helping you help him. Brilliant.

      Yeah, it’s snowing … last year, WordPress gave me the option for the flakes, and I accepted, so I get them automatically this year. Someone let me know if it gets annoying.

  4. My mother-in-law used to have the deli slice the meat in 1-inch thick slices. Then she’d serve it to the kids as meat sticks! The deli workers thought she was kinda crazy, but they did agree it was a good idea.

  5. I have cooked roast beef in the crockpot (stuffed with a few cloves of garlic) then sliced it thin for a toasted sandwich…..It’s even better the next day sliced thin and simmered in gravy…give me a minute…

  6. I never noticed that baseball players wore shin guards on the inside (granted I’ve only watched a few games but from now on I will be focused on their inner legs…. that sounded wrong, but you know what I mean!).

    I recently saw a preview for the new Imax Great White Shark 3D film (can’t wait to see it) where they tag sharks while in the water (the shark and human are in the water. The humans are free divers – no scuba gear). Very cool as it decreases the stress on the shark.

    People are really bad ass at times. So are sharks.

    1. I think we’ve led you down a dark path of ruin, Letizia. How can you ever thank us?

      Even when people and sharks are being all cook with each other, don’t you think you’re just a shark mood swing away from a bunch of red water?

      I worked with a guy who loved shark week. We’d watch it at work, in the newspaper sports department. In the tension of deadline in a quiet newsroom, he couldn’t take it anymore – he screamed “do it!” at the TV screen that was showing sharks circling under marmosets lounging in the water.

      And lastly, the quotable quotes continues – Your “people are really bad ass” comment goes right up there with Laurie’s.

      Must write more about sharks.

    1. I have a list of about 3,239 pending questions. I knock them out, five at a time, every Friday. Stick around, you’ll learn tons about … well, mostly sports, lunch meat and sharks, but other stuff too.

  7. i love this post, eli and you are right, there are always a million questions waiting to be answered. our job it to go our best and fake the rest. )

  8. I love that I’m getting answers to questions I never even thought to ask!! My boys and hubs are going to be very impressed with my shark tagging knowledge as well as shin guard must-haves!! Thanks Coach 🙂

    1. I kind of specialize in useless trivia. Make sure you talk all casual about shark tagging and shin guards, and they’ll be more impressed.

      Hey, it’s what I’m here for!

  9. Hi Coach D. We’re lovin’ the post but have to be straight up with ya! We’re kinda buggin’ on the crockpot sandwich with the toasted Panini, melted Havarti cheese, herbed mayo, hot au jus …Okay, not joking, we’ve written that down!!! And we have to ask, Is it possible Coach D. has yet another artistic talent. That of a chef??? Mr. Inion N. Mathair can’t boil water so you’ll have to forgive our utter surprise at your mad-culinary flare. Also, you had us laughing our a**** off yet again. We’re beginning to think that your wicked sense of humor is what keeps pulling us back to your blog. Love it, plz don’t ever loose that. We also wanted to let you know we visited your guest post over at Carrot Over Cake & loved the post. We tried to leave a comment twice, but for some reason it wouldn’t take. Either it’s awaiting moderation or we’re too simple to achieve comment status. Either way, you’ll either end up with nothing or two identical comments complimenting your post & 3 rules to Coaching a Soccer team. Thanks for the enjoyable read & we look forward to coming back for more as you are quickly becoming one of our favorites!! Hope you & those lovely 3 girls have a great Holiday!! Sharing this now.

    1. I do love to cook, and that should count for something. I’m no iron chef, but I know my way around a kitchen. And a lot of times, all my life, actually, it’s accidental humor I wind up with. But that counts, right?

      Thanks for commenting at Carrots over Cake. I don’t think any of the comments are showing up. Maybe Monday morning?

      Thank you for all the kind words! I’ve enjoyed my visits to your blog, too.And thanks so much for sharing!

  10. Hey, it’s snowing! I feel right at home.
    I used to play 3rd base – The Body Bag as we called it – I think I still have one bruise that’s not quite healed. No sharks in these parts, but I did get a nasty bite from a pike once. Not quite a juicy roast beef sandwhich was it, but not bad with some fries and a cold beer.

    1. I don’t think the pond has frozen over, yet, though, so keep the skates in the muck room. You probably don’t even think it’s cold enough for a jacket.

      You need to put this shirt on your Christmas list:

      I think a pike would give a shark a decent fight. I’d give a pike a decent fight over a juicy roast beef sandwich. And fries and a cold beer are part of any complete breakfast in Canada, aren’t they?

    1. Sharks generally suck, unless they’re behind a half-foot of gorilla glass, or on Shark Week. Real shark stories suck even greater.

      You’re in luck – shark paninis are on the menu today.

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